Dirt Checkerboard Cake

Cake! I love cake! Especially yellow cake with chocolate frosting! Is that enough exclamation points for you? This wasn’t actually a yellow cake but it had plenty of chocolate frosting to fit the bill!

I wanted to make a checkerboard cake for our staff for Halloween. I knew I wanted to make a brown and orange cake (I just can’t bring myself to do black food coloring for some reason, at least not in large quantities). The last time I made a checkerboard cake it was from scratch and it took a bit of time which I didn’t feel like I had this time around. I decided to read all I could about making a checkerboard cake from box mixes.

Here are a few tips and tricks I found out while doing my research: Use two boxes of mix which will give you leftover batter but it’s better to have more than less; when you use two types of cake mix (ie. chocolate and white) they will be different densities so pick one set of directions and use the same amount of water, oil, and eggs for both mixes; I read you can add 1/4 cup of flour to both mixes to make the batter more dense but I didn’t do this. And as I posted in my raspberry checkerboard cake, always use a well greased pan insert and clean completely in between filling pans. Also, pull insert straight up and out so there is no bleeding between layers.

I was pretty happy with the way it turned out. One of the cake layers did beautifully, the second had a bit of trouble with sticking to the pan, and the final one had a lot of trouble with sticking and the rings started to separate. The thick chocolate frosting did help with getting the layers and rings together but I think in the future I will just plan to make the batter from scratch and divide it in half. I guess practice makes perfect so I’m just going to have to resign myself to making more checkerboard cakes so I can get better. It’s a sacrifice, but I think I will be able to manage it.

Oh, and by the way, the photo above of the individual slice was taken at work after slicing the cake. It’s not the best photo I could have taken, but it’s not too bad considering that it is a point and click camera, it’s a very thin slice because I didn’t want too big of a piece of cake for myself, and I felt a bit self-conscious about cutting into the cake so that I could snap a picture. Not many people at work know that I have a food blog and I think people might think it is a bit weird to take pictures of food. Maybe not, but still, a bit self-conscious. Then you have the fact that my students were going to be walking in the door any minute and I wasn’t sure if a staff member would innocently open my door to ask me a question and wonder why I was hunched down snapping a picture of a piece of a cake on a plate sitting on a piece of white construction paper sitting on my classroom floor. Okay, enough of the explaining since I think this paragraph may be longer than my actual write-up. Do you think I may have some issues? Don’t answer that. Enjoy!


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